We were asked the following question over at the cider forum I want to highlight to this as others will be able to learn from this too:
I have a small paddock in which I would like to grow some apple trees with a view of possibly making a small amount of cider. I know nothing about what trees to purchase or if it is even a practical idea. Can you advise on where is the best place for me to get help, buy trees or in fact learn all about it?
Firstly, anyone can make cider!
We want to encourage the production of cider on a small scale at home or in your local community. Don’t forget that apple juice and cider vinegar can also be made from the same apples.
Whether you have a back garden with a couple of apple trees, several acres of orchard, or you’re just ’scrumping’ apples from friends and neighbours every autumn you will find it’s a fantastic way to get out learn about your local area, use local produce that might otherswise go to waste and most important of all, get friends, family and neighbours involved!
There are a number of links on the real cider site that will help you with orchard and cider production
- Buy apple trees – List of UK fruit producers and suppliers
- Fruit tree orchards FAQ – On UK Cider web site
- How cider is made – Outline of the steps of cider making
- Basic equipment for cider making – List of equipment you will need for small scale cider making
- Cider making video – Fun video to see how this family make their cider
- Bottling cider
Two fantastic books to help you on your cider journey
This information will be enough to get you started. Remember that if you get the essentials right: selection of suitable apple tree(s), production method and equipment you will be enjoying real cider year after year!